Every month, we shine a spotlight on one of our NLWorks partners who work hard to create business with impact. This time, we introduce Aneel Kumar Ambavaram, Chief Functionary of Grameena Vikas Kendram Society for Rural development (GVK Society). GVK Society is an Indian for impact organization working towards the upliftment of tribal and smallholder farmer livelihood while regenerating the environment.
Aneel came into contact with NLWorks after the initial set-up of a partnership agreement between Dutch and Indian partners. “We are working on something called biomass valorisation, which aims to provide alternatives for burning biomass,” says Aneel, explaining the project he has been working on. He goes on to explain that paddy straw burning is a very pressing issue in countries such as India. It pollutes the environment and does not make good use of the waste left after harvesting. “And, with the increase in mechanized harvesting and the declining use of cattle, we expect the problem to become even more significant over time. There is a clear need for a different approach.”
Solving the issue of straw burning will only work if the alternative is hassle-free and quick enough not to jeopardize missing the beginning of the next season. “A challenge of this magnitude cannot be solved by individual organizations,” continues Aneel. “Collaboration is essential to solving the specific challenge we are working on.”
GVK Society realises that it is only a part of the puzzle in the eco-system of solutions. As a community-based organisation, the majority of its efforts go into rural innovation. And although that is a critical piece, they knew they needed the right partners at a strategic and a tactical level to complete the puzzle. After several Dutch and Indian partners had set up a partnership agreement under MVO Nederland, the ball started rolling with NLWorks coming on board.
“NLWorks came in at the right time, and it seemed logical to collaborate to bring the partnership to the next level. NLWorks is committed to making the partnership work and can provide support when needed.” Aneel and GVK Society are especially pleased that NLWorks is a neutral party but one that can help to provide valuable networks, both in the Netherlands and in India, and helps to get specific processes started.
“It is crucial to have a party such as NLWorks on board,” Aneel continued. “They fully master the multi-stakeholder processes and accommodate the real and different needs and aspirations of the various ecosystem players. The most important end result was that all consortium members were aligned toward the same goal.”
Currently, GVK Society is working hard to bring Biomass India to the next level and to start preparing for the first biomass processing units in South India.